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Mid-City CAN Blog

Students Ask For Sustainable Restorative Justice

Crawford students hold invitations to give to the SDUSD board members.

Instead of taking a break from school this summer, five students from Crawford High Academy of Law worked harder than ever to improve the school disciplinesystem for their peers.  At the final San Diego Unified school board meeting of the year on July 28th, these students presented their work with restorative initiatives as a follow up to their year-long project with restorative justice.

“[The program] empowers not only the person who was harmed, but it also empowers the offender because they have a chance to make things right,” said Mey-Ling Lazo. “Students are still taking accountability for their actions without being punished or shamed.”

Students practice presentation outside before the board meeting

The five Crawford seniors are working this summer to develop youth-led community building circles for Mid-City CAN’s Peace Promotion Momentum Team. As Academy of Law student, these youth were trained in community building circle faciliation, peer mediation and teen court. These three restorative practices allow students to experience an alternative form of conflict resoluation that engenders accountability and prevention of future wrongdoing rather than simple punishment. After a February presentation on their plans for the 2014-15 school year, the five young restorative justice practitioners returned to the board detail their experiences.

“In the past year we have 65 peer mediations, and 59 of them ended in agreements, which is really great,” said Edith Okello.

The presentation focused on successes and challenges from the 2014-2015 school year, reporting back the reality of trying to implement such a program for the first time in a structured school system.


Edith Okello tells the SDUSD board the successful Restorative Justice statistics.

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